Chinese Investor Seeks Land in Iceland

Posted August 30th, 2011 at 7:45 pm (UTC-5)
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A Chinese tycoon wants to buy a large area in Iceland to build a luxury hotel and environmentally-friendly resort.

News reports say real estate investor Huang Nubo has made a preliminary deal to buy about 300 square kilometers of land in the north-east of the Nordic country.

But Iceland’s Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson told reporters in Reykjavik Tuesday that such a deal would need government approval and careful scrutiny.

Critics have raised objections to the idea giving a Chinese citizen and former government official control over such a large piece of land in a strategic part of the North Atlantic.

The Financial Times newspaper said Monday that Huang had previously worked at China’s Central Propaganda Department and the Ministry of Construction.

Iceland is located mid-way between Europe and North America and is close to the arctic where several nations have overlapping resource claims.

The island nation is still recovering from the 2008 collapse of its banks during the global financial crisis.

Huang’s company, Zhongkun Group, owns resorts and tourist facilities throughout China and in other countries.